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Full text of "Flora Indica Vol-I"

INTRODTJCTOUy   ESSAY.                                 231

racteristie trees. Liquidambar is also common, and parasitical
Orchidea and ferns are extremely abundant. A plant closely
allied to Raffiesia (Sapria Griffithii}, which was discovered in
these mountains by Griffith, is the most remarkable form
known to occur there.

The upper valley of the Brahmaputra is more open, and is.
richly cultivated^ rice being the chief crop, and oranges the
most abundant fruit-tree.

Higher up, the mountain-slopes are clad with pines of an
undetermined species in great abundance. Rhododendro?i ar-
boreum is also of frequent occurrence,, and the temperate flora,
so far as it is known, closely resembles that of Khasia.

The alpine flora is quite unknown; but we learn from Wil-
cox, who crossed a pass elevated 12,800 feet above the level of
the sea"*, on his journey to the Irawadi, that stunted Rho-
dodendrons were common, and that a species of Juniper oc-
curred on the crest of the pass, together with Coptis Teeta> a
remarkable B/anunculaceous genus, which is not found in the
Himalaya.

Though so luxuriant and tropical,, the flora of the Mishmi
hills below 6000 feet elevation did not yield Griffith a rich
harvest,—he did not obtain a thousand species during his re-
sidence there. These consisted chiefly of tropical orders,
amongst which the following are the most numerous in spe-
cies :—

Compositae.....    80

Graminese.....    73

Labiatae......    50

Orehideaj.....   43

Hubiacese.....   42

Acanthaeese.....   38

Leguminosse     ....    31

Cyperaceze.....   22

besides 200 Ferns.
These numbers are taken from his published journals; but,
from our examination of the materials from which they were
computed, they must be considerably reduced, especially the
Ferns.
<* Asiat. Res. xvii 451.